Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sailing Club Circle Raftup

HISC 2018 Change of Command Circle Raft Up

Heading out of Port Everglades

What a gorgeous day for a sail! We left Port Everglades, with our sails up, around 10am on Friday March 2nd after an uneventful motor down the New River and under the 17th Street Causeway Bridge. I put together some dough to bake a couple of loaves later that day.

No stowaways this time. Seas were almost flat, wind from the NNW around 10knots.

Rather than have the wind almost on our nose and sailing against the Current from the North along the beach, we (me) decided to head out to the Gulfstream, conditions were perfect.

Once in the Stream, about 1 1/2 Miles off shore, we turned onto 060º and enjoyed the ride. We were doing 5.7knots through the water, but 9.7knots by the GPS, WooHoo!

Of course, we knew that the weather was going to go downhill later in the day, but figured we could be in through Hillsboro Inlet by around 1pm. True to form, the bad weather front came down from the North and Seas began to rise pretty quickly. By 12:30 they had risen to about 5' but the boat just plowed her way through them. With the wind now about 45º off the wind, we had the choice of turning into wind and waves or continue to head offshore. Rather than risk being out there if the weather turned nasty, we turned for the Inlet and motored with the Main up but the Jib furled.

As expected, with the wind coming from the NNE, the waters off the beach were much calmer. We motored easily into the Inlet and just had to watch our depth and keep the channel - A member of our club manages the dredging of the inlet and provides a depth chart for the inlet outside of the bridge. That's a huge help to ensure we don't get into skinny water.

The tide was pouring out of the inlet, and at the bridge there was about a 4knot ebb, it seemed to take forever to pass the bridge fenders. But, again, Eximius handled it easily.

We motored up the ICW to Lake Boca. There were a few sailboats already there and quite a few power boats and folks standing in the shallows mid - lake. We anchored on the East side of the lake about a 1/3rd of the distance from the North end. 

The wind cooled things a lot, but I went and baked my bread which warmed the cabin. And the bread turned out well!

First time using Aluminium foil bread pans, but they worked fine. The loaves just plopped out when inverted.

They're small loaves, but that's fine. 

I had to wait for them to cool before doing a taste test.

The baking made me hungry, and I'm on a limited diet after having Gum Surgery on Thursday, just two days ago.

Oh well, as someone on Facebook commented, What Would you Do for a Klondike Bar!

Our Fridge Freezer is just cold enough the keep them frozen.


We had Macaroni Cheese for Supper with Fresh Tomatoes. Easy, Quick, and very tasty, I know, that's comfort food - what's wrong with that?

Saturday morning boats started to arrive for the Change of Command Circle Raft Up and we had volunteered to be one of the Anchor Boats - That meant that we would be one of 4 boats that began the circle and that we would each drop a Stern Anchor to help shape the Circle.

Our Raft Master, Ross, has done this for the past few years and handles the process which takes some doing.

We dug in our Bow anchor with 85' of Chain, then Ross took our Stern Anchor in his dink and dropped it where he wanted the Circle Center to be located. He also put a large Tetrahedron mark so that everyone knew where the center was intended.

Gradually boats started to come alongside of us and the other Anchor Boats. At one point we had 5 boats hanging off our anchor but two of them were dropping theirs. One had the misfortune to dig into a bunch of garbage on the lake bed. When the wind picked up, his anchor started to drag, by which time our anchor was insufficient to hold the 5 boats and our anchor dragged too. A couple of boats detached from our little raft up and Ross assisted two other boats to join us, they already had anchors out and one had a stern anchor. So at that point we had 6 boats rafted with 4 bow anchors and 2 stern anchors, that's pretty reasonable. 

Then the current in Lake Boca took us for a swing and the boat on the east side of our raft got too close to the docks along the east side of the lake and he decided to peel off, I would have done the same. The rest of us stayed put, we were holding our own despite the increase in wind. Ross abandoned the Circle Raft up and each of us set up smaller rafts. We were now 5 Boats on 4+2 Anchors. We would be able to sleep that night.

At 5pm the Incoming Club Commodore drove around the fleet with the new Cruising Flag on Display, followed at 6pm with the Dink -n- Drift where those present tied up their dinghies and passed all sorts of tasty appetizers between the boats.

After the Dink-n-Drift, we all returned to our boats or to other's. A few parties erupted, and lasted till the wee hours. We had Mushroom Ravioli, Tomatoes and Sour Cream - and some of today's Fresh baked bread, a bottle of Wine, some Black Magic Rum and some dancing in our cockpit. Good night.

3am Sunday Morning the Alarm went off!
We've been here before, Anchor Drag alarm sounds, we both get out of bed and check out the problem while preparing to dress and drive the boat towards the anchor. But it wasn't the Anchor Alarm! I cupped my ears to determine the location of the alarm sound, it's coming from the cockpit, but nothing up there is powered up. Out into the cockpit I cup my ears again and realize it's coming from Lizette! 
I called for Tom, fast asleep, Knock on his hull, eventually he climbs out - Tom, you have an alarm in your cockpit. Turns out it was his portable radio that had switched to the weather channel at the 3am alert. Good night - Again.

Sunday morning boats started to peel off. We had bit of fun getting the Stern line from beneath Dalecarlia, Peder had to take a dip, he survived. Tom, on Lizette had our stern line trapped between his rudder and prop, so he could not break away until that we cleared. We manged eventually by following the anchor rode in our dink and hauling the anchor. We had to be careful as our dink is an Inflatable and the last 20' of rode is rusty chain (have to replace that) and I did not want it cutting into the dink sides. But we got it up ok. 
It was covered in the thick black mud from the Lake bed and as I pulled the anchor, we found an old toothbrush. Turned out a handy tool to scrape off the mud. Then we cleared the line from Tom's boat. Tom peeled off after Peder and we started to put Eximius back in shape, seemed we had used a lot of line to keep the boats rafted.

I took the opportunity to clean out the Line Lock (Port side cockpit locker) and was surprised how much line I had accumulated. Our Old Jib Sheets, Old Halyards, New Spinnaker Sheets, Long and short docklines, Spring lines and those little lines that were once longer but had stressed too much. The locker is now neat and tidy, bet it doesn't last long!

During the afternoon a few power boats came to the lake but didn't stay, and by night time, all were gone except for a couple of boats flying the Canadian Flag and we could see Time to Go (another club member) off to our South.

Mid afternoon, we were cleaning up the topsides when Peggy's New, Expensive, Hat flew overboard. I quickly grabbed my long boat hook and could not quite reach it. Dang!
A few minutes later a small power boat passed, they had the bubbly ready to go and I hailed them asking if they could grab Peggy's Hat. They did! As they were coming back to our boat, I went below and pulled up a 4 pack of IPA, popped it into a bag and hung it on our boat hook. As they came along side, they took the Beer and passed over the Hat  - Can you Spell Karma? 

We had an early turn in as we wanted to get out of the lake early Monday Morning. We woke to the alarm clock (ok, the Alarm Clock Ap on my phone) at 06:15 and I put the coffee pot on to boil. We got washed up, dressed and I cooked a full breakfast of Eggs, Sausage, Tomatoes, Fruit and some more of the baked bread.

By 7:30 we were pulling up the anchor and heading back around the lake for the 07:40 Camino Real Bridge opening.

It was cool, Peggy had a towel wrapped around her legs, of course, I'm just wearing shorts. We motored down the ICW figuring that the strong winds for the past 40 hours had built up a big sea.
As we motored past the Hillsboro Inlet Bridge, we could see just how big that sea was! Huge! Surfers paradise, but a sailboats dread!

We made good time going down the ICW and turned up the New River. We paused for about an hour just down stream of 3rd Avenue Bridge to use the Pump out by Smokers Park. That worked first time and we took time out to have a snack before continuing up the river.

Past the last 5 bridges (3rd Avenue, Andrews Avenue, FEC Railroad, 7th Avenue, 11th Street Swing Bridge) we motored to our dock space and tied the boat up. It's surprising how quickly we can unload the boat, wash her down and load up the truck for the 25 minute ride home. But we have done it so often now that it's a pretty well worked out routine.

Once home, that hot shower was just what we needed.

See you on the water.


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